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Evaluating Differences in Production and Experimental Estimates of Health Insurance Coverage and Disability in the 2020 American Community Survey

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Working Paper Number SEHSD-WP2022-12


In July 2021, as a result of disruptions to data collection stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Census Bureau announced that the standard 2020 1-year American Community Survey (ACS) data products would not be released. Although the U.S. Census Bureau adapted data collection in response to the pandemic throughout 2020, the interviewed households in the 2020 ACS were more educated, had higher incomes, and were more likely to reside in single-family housing units than in previous years (Asiala, et al. 2021; Rothbaum, et al. 2021). This paper examines differences in the ACS 1-year estimates of health insurance coverage and disability using standard production method weighting (PMW) and the experimental methods using entropy balanced weighting (EBW) described in Rothbaum, et al. (2021). It also compares changes in ACS 1-Year estimates in health coverage and disability between 2019 and 2020 under both weighting regimes. Finally, it explores how changes in the distribution of population characteristics across weighting regimes may have impacted observed differences in production and experimental ACS estimates of health coverage and disability.

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